Nationally the Midwest is known for our violent thunderstorms and tornadoes. We are prepared to file insurance claims in the early summer months for hail and/or water damage…but now with Kansas feeling tremors from earthquakes in Oklahoma, Illinois and Arkansas, do we as homeowner and renters need to carry insurance for earthquakes? It seems that we are feeling and possibly seeing the effects of these natural and/or induced disasters more consistently.
The Wichita Eagle published an article in late August of 2011 offering advice on earthquake insurance. In the article, Don Steeples, a McGee distinguished professor of geophysics at the University of Kansas, explains that The Humbolt Fault runs along the Nemaha’s eastern edge near El Dorado. Steeples states that the fault line is capable of producing an earthquake up to 6.0, but that an earthquake of that magnitude happens only about every 2,000 years.
I became quite fascinated with earthquakes while collecting data for this post, and stumbled across an article published by the Kansas Geological Survey; Induced Seismicity: The Potential for Triggered Earthquakes in Kansas. Within the publication the above map showed the probability that ground shaking will exceed a certain level over a 50-year period. The low-hazard areas have a 2% chance of exceeding a designated low level of shaking and the high-hazard areas have a 2% chance of topping a much greater level (modified from USGS, 2014). Click HERE to read the complete publication.
I reached out to Dylan Harnett, Agent at American Family Insurance, for a quick education on earthquake coverage. He informed me that earthquake insurance is an endorsement that you can easily add to homeowner’s and renter’s policies, and that the premium is typically very low. He did highlight that the coverage could have a separate deductible from your normal policy (usually a percentage of what your home is insured for). Dylan advises anyone interested in adding an earthquake endorsement to their current policy to reach out to their local or preferred insurance agent for full policy coverage and premiums.